A man and woman walking near downtown Palo Alto were robbed at gunpoint Tuesday night, Jan. 22, Palo Alto police said.
The victims, a man in his 50s and a woman in her 20s, were walking together northbound in the 300 block of Ramona Street near Hawthorne Avenue at about 8:30 p.m. when they were approached by a man who stood in their way on the sidewalk. He produced a black handgun and demanded their wallets and the woman's purse. The victims complied, police said.
The gunman told them to walk back in the direction from which they had come, which they did. They heard him running away northbound on Ramona Street, police said.
There was no known vehicle associated with the crime. Neither victim was injured. They walked to a restaurant in the 400 block of Emerson Street near Lytton Avenue and sought help from an employee, who called police at about 8:45 p.m.
The gunman is described as a black male in his early 20s, about 5 feet 8 inches tall and 165 pounds. He was wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt with the hood up and dark pants.
Police do not believe the crime is related to the two incidents that occurred downtown within 15 minutes of one another during the early morning hours of Dec. 2, 2012. In those two cases, the suspect acted violently towards the victims, both women who were alone, and the robber was not armed with a weapon.
Police recommend that people remain aware of their surroundings when out for walks, and report suspicious behavior immediately to 911.
Detectives from the Palo Alto Police Department are actively investigating this incident. Police ask that anyone who may have information about this crime contact the 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or sent by text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984.